Friday, 15 October 2010

101 ways to use mobile messages in travel

This is a guest post by Pieter de Villiers, CEO of Clickatell, a US-based specialist in mass-micro messaging to organisations in more than 220 countries and territories.

The competition to earn customers in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries is intense. The operations of hotels, restaurants, cruise operators, airlines, car rental agencies, and even tourist boards may be diverse, but the desire and need to be unique in the eyes of the customer – to differentiate from competitors on more than just price – remains constant.

Businesses in the travel, tourism and hospitality industries are increasingly using the mobile channel to engage more successfully with their customers. In many developing markets, customer segments that are un-contactable via telephone landline or Internet are on the other side of a mobile phone today.

The adoption of SMS text messaging by the travel, hospitality and tourism industries is at the forefront of communicating with these wide swathes of mobile customers.

SMS enhances customer service and makes information-based services more accessible to customers of these industries, advantages that are not being ignored by operators.

Here is first swathe of 101 examples of use of SMS around the travel industry.

1. Air China allows customers to check-in via SMS and mobile barcodes. Once a traveller has booked their ticket on-line, they can choose to be sent an SMS anytime from 24 hours to 90 minutes before their flight. The SMS contains a link to a mobile barcode, which the passenger can use to check-in through all necessary airport security checkpoints and board the flight.


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